Production and logistics: two sides of Marcegaglia strategy
Being able to anticipate market trends, as well as being able to react quickly and positively to the market shifts, are key qualities for any player who wishes to operate on a global level in the steel scenario. The real distinctive feature is the strategy – the vision – that draws the path.
Production, quality and logistics are among the keywords for Marcegaglia’s future. The same keywords, in fact, have been characterizing the past development of the Italy-based group, yet today they bring new perspectives to the flat products sector. Here, Marcegaglia started an expansion path about 15 years ago pursuing on the successful strategy followed within the tube sector (where Marcegaglia can count on an extremely wide range of products, plus the world’s leadership in stainless steel welded tubes) thus creating a diversified network of sourcing-production-distribution performing both horizontal, downstream and upstream growth. As a result, today the group can be considered as a unique player in the European steel industry and on a world scale, guided by key values such as synergies (raw material purchasing, processing, logistics, market), economies of scale, production flexibility and diversification of products and markets.
All these values are translated in flats production where the group is active both in carbon and stainless steel coils, sheets and narrow strips, but also in colour coated steel production and heavy (quarto) plates. Marcegaglia is an independent player that can both supply other service centres as well as specialized customers offering an ever-increasing range of products in terms of steel grades and typical applications, a unique mix of services and quick response times with stock availability in standard sizes.
Production and quality
This strategy has led the Italy-based group to develop new high-grade quality and niche products, based on the new feasibility at Ravenna and S. Giorgio di Nogaro (Italy) plants: the setup and the revamping of new lines have indeed expanded the production capacity especially in terms of range and grade feasibility, with a higher control of production processes and the capability to supply more and more specialized products.
This has allowed the consolidation of historical markets, while new application sectors have also been entered: among others, hot-rolled high yield strength steel for cold forming can now be supplied up to S600MC (EN 10149-2) as well as cold rolled products with high yield strength for cold forming in grades HC420LA, HC180Y, HC220Y, HC260Y (among others, according to EN 10268) but also special quality steels for radiators and for drum packaging are maintained as production standards. Thanks to the latest process upgrade on its several galvanizing lines, Marcegaglia has also increased its flexibility in zinc coating so coating weight may be defined from Z50 up to Z800 (also allowing a different coating between sides), but also new grades have been developed such as dual phase DP600, DP800 and DP1000. In the range of surface finishes, the innovative Ecorsteel anti-fingerprint organic coated steel is a permanent, ecological and anti-oxidant coating, transparent or colour hued, that combines aesthetic values with high forming and drawing capabilities for application in the building sector, household appliances and metal furniture.
The coil colour-coating units are constantly increasing their efficiency and output, with more than 20 standard painting cycles that can be combined for specific surface requirements. The production programme of heavy plates was also enriched and an extremely wide array of end uses are now covered, with specific certifications for boilers, pressure vessels and naval construction among others.
Another focus of the expansion strategy is logistics: the efficiency of the distribution network connecting manufacturing plants with each other and with customers has always been among Marcegaglia’s top priorities, and the group has supported and sustained activities to improve performances in this field. Here, especially in the flat products sector, Marcegaglia has been able to establish its presence on new areas through the use of intermodal terminals (hubs) strategically located in harbours on the Mediterranean Sea, but also on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, as well as storage areas near important railway connections, significantly cutting delivery times as well as carbon emissions: a network of more that 10 logistic hubs across Europe to enhance flexibility and just-in-time service. At the heart of this network, the Ravenna plant (Italy) operates as the main production and shipping hub for all the group’s flat product chain, with its handling capacity (now 500 trucks per day) significantly upgraded also thanks to the completion of new internal railway tracks and the expansion of the harbour docks area (220 m added for a total length of 800 m, 9.5 m draught) for ship access. The plant in San Giorgio di Nogaro, specializing in heavy plate production, is conveniently located with easy access to sea and rail freight along the same Eastern coast of Italy.
Strenghtening the stainless challenge
On the other side, the stainless steel business of Marcegaglia has been expanded with the production of flat materials (coils and cut-to-length sheets) within the Gazoldo degli Ippoliti plant now operating at full capacity, while the set up of new upgrades on the first pickling line will be aimed to reach further qualitative and quantitative increase focusing mainly on ferritic steels.
The Headquarters plant today is equipped with two annealing and pickling lines and two cold-rolling and skin-passing lines capable of processing hot-rolled steel (1D finish) from 2 to 6 mm thickness and cold-rolled steel (2B finish). These coil processing lines can also supply in-line edge slitting. Downstream, Marcegaglia can count on the integrated production of stainless sheets and strips but also flat and angle bars. The brand new cut-to-length line can work both hot-rolled and cold-rolled materials with optional polishing (220-240-320 grit), scotch brite brushing and paper or laser film protection on each sheet. The automated packaging system assembles standard packages from 1500 kg weight. All production is conform to main manufacturing standards such as EN 10088-4 for structural, building and construction applications with CE marking, and EN 10028-7 for all pressure purposes applications certified by TÜV: AD 2000-W2 (pressure equipment) and W10 (low temperature pressure equipment).
Marcegaglia will be presenting its flat product range at EuroBLECH Hanover (October 21-25) – hall 17, stand B34